Kirkland, Wash. – Lake Washington Institute of Technology (LWTech), the only public institute of technology in Washington state, has entered into a partnership with Audi of America, Inc. (Audi) that includes a 2015 Audi Q3 crossover for student training. The car, which is valued at $32,500 MSRP, allows LWTech’s Auto Repair Technician students to have hands-on experience with the latest automotive technologies. As part of the agreement, at least five LWTech graduates will be placed for employment at a local Audi-brand dealer each year.
This isn’t the first time Audi and LWTech have worked together to help students get industry experience. For the last two years, the college hosted Audi Appreciation Day on campus. However, this is the first time both organizations have come together to provide a turnkey program by entering into a formal partnership through the Audi Educational Partnership Program. LWTech is the only college in the Northwest, at the Premium Plus level, that received a car.
“By establishing this partnership with Audi, we are helping local employers to find skilled workers, and helping students find well-paying jobs right after they graduate, “said Dr. Amy Morrison Goings, president of LWTech.
Nolan Koreski, faculty for LWTech’s Auto Repair Technician program, said, “Not only do we get the car with all the latest hardware and software, we also get a higher depth of support from Audi.” Koreski said some students graduate from this program with no debt because they make enough to support themselves and pay tuition by working at local dealerships in the afternoon.
The partnership also provides LWTech faculty with a two-day Audi training opportunity for professional development, which they can, in turn, pass along that knowledge directly to their students.
It takes the average student two years to graduate from LWTech’s Auto Repair Technician program with an associate degree, which is standard for entering the industry. Classes take place between 7 a.m. and noon by design so students can have the option to work at a local Audi dealership in the afternoon. Students who earn the associate degree can continue their education to obtain a bachelor’s degree at LWTech in Transportation and Logistics Management.
According to Boris Chong of Audi, “We are extremely excited about our partnership with LWTech. We know LWTech is doing an exceptional job of preparing its students for the real world of automotive. As the result, we see students with solid foundation, willingness to learn and a can-do attitude time and time again. For Audi, we could offer you an ordinary career – the trouble is we only deal in the extraordinary. These are exciting times to be a part of the Audi team!”
Chong stated the median salary for Auto Repair Technicians in the Pacific Northwest ranges from $47,000 - $62,000. Audi has three participating local dealerships in Bellevue, Seattle, and Tacoma.
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